ook as ambitious and almost as authoritative as Francis Fergusson's The Idea Theatre. In it Maurice Valency surveys the definitive dramas of Ibsen and Strindberg, the two pivotal forces of naturalism and symbolism which since the turn of the century have? structured and inspired all stagecraft. Revolutions in taste come and go, whether they be avant-garde catcalls or arriere-garde cliches, but essentially, says the professor, nothing's altered: modern playwrights are still the progeny of the Norwegian and wede. Both were psychologically poles apart, yet both were agonizingly aware of the other's creative adventures; both sought to resurrect the bases of tragedy and both were, n varying ways, nonconformists: Ibsen the heroic rationalist, Strindberg the hurlyurly hysteric. Each lived in the castle of the imagination; for Ibsen, greatness was easured by the height of the castle tower from which the artist falls; for Strindberg, he ""castle grows as the spirit impels it"", until at last it bursts and blooms like a flower. Valency's prose is chaste and full of conviction, his conceptual scheme cunning. n impressive performance indeed.